05/20/2010 11:00PM

Five submit bids for Aqueduct slots


Five bidders have submitted questions to the New York lottery seeking information on the lottery's request for proposals to operate a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, a spokeswoman for the lottery said on Thursday.

The deadline to submit the questions was May 18. According to the spokeswoman, Jennifer Givner, the five bidders submitted a total of 120 questions to the lottery regarding the request for proposals, which was issued on May 11. Givner said the lottery would not identify the bidders.

"We are currently reviewing the questions and will prepare the answers by Tuesday," Givner said.

The casino, first authorized in 2001, is expected to generate at least $600 million in net revenue a year from 4,500 slot machines. The New York racing industry is counting on a 13 percent cut from the casino revenue to subsidize the New York Racing Association's operations and purses at NYRA's three tracks.

The lottery intends to make a recommendation on the operator on Aug. 3.

Last week, officials of three groups who had previously bid on the casino said that they intended to participate in the current round of bidding. The three groups were Penn National Gaming Inc., A partnership of SL Green and Hard Rock Casinos, and a partnership of Peebles Development and MGM Grand.

Earlier this year, the state scrapped the selection of a sprawling, politically connected partnership known as Aqueduct Entertainment Group after the pick was intensely criticized as politically motivated.